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Int J Oncol. 2013 Dec;43(6):1754-62. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2013.2105. Epub 2013 Sep 17.

Relevance of infection with human papillomavirus: the role of the p53 tumor suppressor protein and E6/E7 zinc finger proteins (Review).

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Agronomy, Mendel University in Brno, CZ-613 00 Brno, Czech Republic.


Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are small circular, double-stranded DNA viruses infecting epithelial tissues. HPV types can be classified both as high-risk or low-risk. Of the more than 120 different identified types of HPV, the majority are involved in infections of the genital tract, cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina and penis, and of non-anogenital localizations, such as the head and neck areas. From the point of view of the infection, human papillomaviruses have developed several molecular mechanisms to enable infected cells to suppress apoptosis. This review provides a comprehensive and critical summary of the current literature that focuses on cervical carcinoma and cancer of the head and neck caused by HPV. In particular, we discuss HPV virology, the molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis, the role of the tumor suppressor protein p53 and the E6/E7 zinc finger proteins. Classification of HPV according to diagnosis is also described.

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